Intelligence is the process of evaluating and interpreting information lawfully collected from any source and assessed for its value to identify, anticipate, prevent or monitor criminal activity. More simply, intelligence is the product of information plus analysis. Intelligence helps the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) keep the criminal justice community ahead of organized crime and domestic security threats. Intelligence allows FDLE to maximize special agent and analyst investigative capabilities to increase our knowledge and understanding of criminal groups and our ability to devise initiatives that deter, disrupt and dismantle them in an efficient and effective manner.
The Office of Statewide Intelligence (OSI) was created by the FDLE in 1996 to specifically address the need for a preemptive strategy to our state’s varied criminal elements and trends. Information and intelligence from OSI helps to ensure that FDLE’s investigative resources are directed toward emerging crime threats and those with the most potential impact to Florida.
OFFICE OF STATEWIDE INTELLIGENCE (OSI)
OSI plays a primary role in the planning and direction, analysis, reporting and evaluation of FDLE intelligence products. OSI is the core of the Florida Fusion Center, which functions as the state hub for local, state and federal intelligence exchange on all crimes. OSI helps to support other programs within FDLE by coordinating and unifying intelligence processes for the Department.
The OSI consists of focus teams. Each team interacts with regional intelligence units and state, local, and federal agencies to monitor issues that could affect the state:
• Florida Investigative Support Center (FISC)
• Collection and Development
• Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Center (CTIC)
• Financial Crimes Analysis Center (FCAC)
• Research and Analysis Unit (RAU)
• Focus Area Inspectors/Agents
• Regional Intelligence Agents
FLORIDA INVESTIGATIVE SUPPORT CENTER (FISC)
The FISC is a 24/7 situational awareness unit and is the only FDLE investigative resource that is staffed 24-hours a day to respond to a wide variety of intelligence and investigative requests from FDLE members statewide and out-of-state law enforcement agencies. FISC also acts as the state’s domestic security sentinel providing vital situational awareness to criminal justice and public safety partners statewide.
COUNTER-TERRORISM INTELLIGENCE CENTER (CTIC)
In the years since September 11, 2001, FDLE has continued its commitment to domestic security in Florida, as directed by Florida Statute 943.0311, which established the Chief of Domestic Security and the duties of the department.
The Counter Terrorism Intelligence Center (CTIC) has many terrorism related responsibilities, including the collection, analysis, and dissemination of domestic security intelligence. The CTIC produces the FDLE Daily Domestic Security Brief daily and maintains situational awareness of issues not only occurring in Florida, but globally as well. Among the other duties are strategic assessments on various infrastructure elements and monthly newsletters concerning domestic extremism.
CTIC maintains an operational relationship with other state law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI and DHS. The role of CTIC continues to evolve as their participation in the Florida Fusion Center grows. Recently, CTIC began providing information for Department of Homeland Security Information Reports that are disseminated not only to other law enforcement elements, but to members of the United States Intelligence Community as well.
FINANCIAL CRIMES ANALYSIS CENTER (FCAC)
The Financial Crime Analysis Center (FCAC) was created by the 2000 Florida Legislature, as directed by Florida Statute 943.032, and is housed within the Office of Statewide Intelligence. The FCAC assists law enforcement agencies and prosecutors investigating ongoing, organized drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorist financing, and investigations of other financial transactions suggestive of criminal activity. The information compiled by the FCAC is analyzed to reveal patterns, trends and correlations that are indicative of money laundering or other criminal activity. This information is made available to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors through tactical assistance requests and proactive research.
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS UNIT (RAU)
The Research and Analysis Unit (RAU) is a team of analysts responsible for producing the monthly Florida Criminal Activity Bulletin, brochures, flyers, and other bulletins when the need arises. This unit also prepares and disseminates intelligence assessments, crime briefs, OSI intelligence information, and publications for distribution to local, state and federal law enforcement. In addition, the RAU provides analytical support to the Focus Area Intelligence Inspectors/Agents and maintains the public and law enforcement only OSI websites.
COLLECTION AND DEVELOPMENT
The Collection and Development Unit includes Focus Area Inspectors/Special Agents with expertise in Violent Crime, Drug Crime, Economic Crime, Gaming/Racinos, and Domestic Security. Each FDLE Region has a single Special Agent Point of Contact (POC) for intelligence coordination. All members of the unit serve as liaisons to the Florida Fusion Center (FFC) and have received training that is reflective of an “all crimes” approach. In addition, the members are responsible for creation of and collection on standing intelligence requirements.
Focus Area Inspectors/Agents
The Focus Area Inspectors/Agents engage in the research, review and drafting of crime assessments and crime briefs as well as analysis of new legislative bills both state and federal with potential impact on law enforcement operations statewide. These Inspectors are responsible for maintaining a statewide awareness of crimes / crime trends as related to their assigned focus area. They identify and track trends within their respective focus area and produce strategic assessments and briefs on emerging crime issues.
Violent Crime Inspector
Violent crime focus area topics include but are not limited to homicide, robbery, sex crimes, human trafficking, criminal street gangs and gun violence.
The Violent Crime Desk participates in providing training regarding violent crime intelligence operations and the mission of the Office of Statewide Intelligence to local, state, and federal governmental agencies and the public, where appropriate. Additionally, the Violent Crime Desk researches current and new investigative tools to assist in the intelligence mission during operational investigations.
Drug Crime Inspector
Drug crime focus area topics include but are not limited to the manufacture, cultivation and trafficking of illegal drugs, the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs, drug related deaths, money laundering and major drug trafficking organizations. The Major Drugs Desk participates in providing training regarding drug crime intelligence operations and the mission of the Office of Statewide Intelligence to local, state, and federal governmental agencies and the public.
Economic Crime Inspector
Economic crimes focus area topics include a wide range of fraudulent activities that are generally complex in nature, involve multiple victims, have an enormous negative impact on the state’s citizens and economy, and require specially trained, protracted investigative expertise to successfully disrupt the criminal activity. The economic crime desk looks at fraud against Florida, organized money laundering, multijurisdictional schemes to defraud, cargo theft and identity theft rings. The Economic Crime Desk creates and maintains an effective strategic plan to combat fraud through prevention, collaboration, identifying best practices, increasing awareness, providing training, and networking with law enforcement and regulatory partners.
Gaming/Racino Intelligence Agent
The Gaming/Racino Desk supports the mission of Florida law enforcement statewide identifying and tracking trends in the Gaming/Racino focus area and providing strategic analysis of crime related to gaming, as directed by Florida Statute 551.103. In addition, the Gaming/Racino Agents are in place to ensure a safe gaming environment; ensure the integrity of the games; and protect the State of Florida assets.
The Gaming/Racino Desk supports a variety of criminal investigations, including, but not limited to, money laundering, slot cheats/fraud, organized criminal activity and racketeering.
Domestic Security Inspector
The Domestic Security focus area topics include but are not limited to international and domestic terrorist groups or individuals that may become radicalized and commit terrorist acts.
The Domestic Security Desk supports information flow utilizing the Homeland Security Information Network-Florida (HSIN-FL) and the Florida Domestic Security alerting system known as ThreatCom.
The Domestic Security Desk also facilitates information sharing with other state Fusion Centers, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in meetings and utilizing classified systems in the Florida Fusion Center.
REGIONAL INTELLIGENCE AGENTS
The Regional Intelligence Agents (RIA) are assigned as intelligence liaisons from the region to the Florida Fusion Center (FFC) and OSI. These Special Agents are responsible for maintaining awareness of crimes/crime trends in all focus areas within their respective regions:
• Pensacola Region
• Tallahassee Region
• Jacksonville Region
• Tampa Bay Region
• Orlando Region
• Fort Myers Region
• Miami Region
OSI compiles quarterly assessments of crime information from the seven FDLE regions. These assessments are sent back out to the field for use in determining the crime issues and deployment of resources for FDLE statewide.
In response to the intelligence failures of September 11, 2001, fusion centers have developed across the nation to leverage the best information sharing practices, technology and analytical resources to produce actionable intelligence. A Fusion Center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the Center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend and respond to criminal and terrorist activity utilizing an all crimes/all hazards approach.